The big news item this week is the falling AUD/USD which is currently trading at 1.02 its lowest level in 7 months. On the LME the market has had a slight pull back as participants realise that economic problems in Europe are still not improving. As an indicator of the magnitude of the problems, on Friday night Spain announced that their unemployment rate had reached a new high at 26.2%, with the jobless rate for people under 24 running at 55.13%.
Australian dollar hits seven-month low By AAP
The Australian dollar has softened to a seven-month low following a suite of local economic data that came in worse than analyst expectations. At 1535 AEDT, the Australian dollar fell as far as 101.17 United States cents, its lowest point since July 13. The local unit closed the previous session at 102.36 US cents. Earlier, data from the the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed building approvals fell against expectations in January, for the second consecutive month. Company gross profits also fell in the December quarter, slightly more than analyst expectations.
DJ Copper Near Steady on U.S. Housing Rebound, China Crackdown
By Matt Day and Tatyana Shumsky
NEW YORK–Copper futures finished nearly flat on Monday as traders weighed China’s efforts to clamp down on its property market against hopes for a continued recovery in the U.S. housing sector.
Futures had traded lower overnight, weighed by Beijing’s recent moves to curb property-market speculation and the resulting selloff in Chinese equities. China’s housing sector is a driver of metal demand in the No. 1 copper consumer, and traders worried that the new slate of regulations would crimp demand. “These kinds of moves, while perhaps understandable from a social context, will only reduce metals demand,” INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note. However, “as both Europe and China struggle with reports showing retrenchment in activity, U.S. numbers are coming in on the strong side.”
A reading on U.S. manufacturing activity released on Friday showed the sector expanded for a third consecutive month. Meanwhile, the U.S. property market has been marching toward recovery in recent months, with new housing starts, construction and sales data all showing continued improvement.